On joining a gym:
I was inspired by my very own post, and joined the YMCA I used to go to as a thirty-something in San Francisco (I’m saving the quest for a hair salon for a special occasion like when I hit 130 and need a little help breaking into the one-twenties . . . okay when I hit some zero and want to get to some nine – numbers schmumbers).
My first class at the Y in 1997 was a Step class:
September 3, 1997 – I was a little worried this morning when the van took more time than usual to start. With each turn of the key, my little “I’d rather stay home and watch Sally,” voice taunted me. Once we got to the gym, Ralphie, who had been looking forward to “going to exercise” had a change of heart as we approached the childcare area. My “I’d rather be home, watching Sally, and drinking a mocha” voice whined in unison with Ralphie as he bobbed his head against my tummy. Unfortunately, Ralphie’s firm grip on my thigh at the childcare entrance forced me to be right on time to the class, and the only space available was at the front of the room next to the instructor. Hmmm? I’m the largest woman in this room, I have no idea what I’m doing, and I didn’t even bother combing my hair. The “I’d rather be home, watching Sally, drinking a mocha, and biting into a warm bagel,” voice was openly gloating now. I set my step down between four buff women and took solace in knowing that even though I had encroached on their workout space, I was about to make them look really good.
October 18, 2011: My first class at the Y this time around was a Spin class (a Spin studio has replaced the racquetball courts, but the Steps are still there). Apparently my “calling” in life is to boost the self-esteem of scantily dressed women with tiny waists, graceful yet muscular arms, and long lean legs. . . . Still the largest, now the oldest, really need to invest in an extra brush for the car, at least I was early.
Pine hutch as a desk. Party room table as a media console. Steamer trunk as a coffee table/guest room. Margarine container as a bowl, and margarine container lid as a small serving plate (really). Jelly jar as a glass. Suitcase as dresser. Cashew can as a pencil holder. Frozen peas as an ice pack.
As Tony was putting a honey roasted peanut jar into the recycling, he turned to me and said, “Do you want this as a vase?”
When I walked out of the bedroom this morning, I found Tony taking pictures of Cassidy wearing a pair of Tony’s reading glasses.
Me: “Now I know what you will be doing after I’m gone.”
Tony: “C’mon Cassidy, time for a new outfit.”
Me: Laughter because he’s kidding right . . .
On running (jogging . . . fast bouncy walking):
This morning as I was running up the hill side of “the circle” (a 1/2 mile circular drive at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge) I ran past an older couple. The wife was helping her husband out of their car, and I could tell by the look of frustration on his face that he was probably recalling a time when he could run (bouncy walk with heavy breathing) up a hill and didn’t need his wife to help him out of a car.
I was listening to a song that Kip had downloaded when he borrowed my iPod – the only words I could make out were, “cream on the inside, cream on the outside” (don’t ask, don’t tell as far as I’m concerned). I wanted to comfort the man, to let him know that my ACL was sore, that my broken toe was throbbing, that my right arm was buckling under the weight of the iPod (that it took me five minutes just to find the “shuffle song” option earlier – Steve Jobs obviously didn’t have eyesight issues), that if I stopped, I’d need a lot of help getting started again, but instead I just waved at him with my only functioning appendage (the oh so useful left hand).
As I continued up the hill, I thought of how my grandmother and her sister-in-law, Winnie, used to banter back and forth about their aches and pains. They were best friends and had been for sixty years even though the two brothers they were married to had died decades earlier. “My leg is as stiff as a board,”. . . “I’m fixin’ to die,” . . .“My knee cap is gone,”. . . “My arm is dead” (one can only imagine how this conversation would have gone if they had the Internet, or one could read the previous post); tit for tat. When my grandmother complained about how far I made her walk (two parking spaces), Winnie, who had been confined to an easy chair for as long as I knew her (all of my life) said, “Flora, if I had two good legs, I’d be out there everyday walkin’ laps around the parkin’ lot.”
On the downhill, Many the Miles by Sara Bareilles played. Then up again with Ting Ting’s That’s Not My Name (a great beat for an old lady uphill and easy lyrics, “that’s not my name, that’s not my name, that’s not my name,that’s not my name . . . .). Finally, the fourth loop around, Collide by Howie Day.
I’ve always liked the song Collide, but as I finished out on the flat sidewalk that runs along the water, drunk on endorphins, I looked over at The City, and thought happily, “maybe it’s time this old girl collided with the old girl,” and for the first time in months, I felt motivated.
So, after the bouncy walk, I went to an introductory Tai Chi class at the San Rafael YMCA (with the hopes of getting full range of motion back in my right arm and as well as recouping my ability to walk without zigzagging) . The class had moved to the Novato Y (I’d rather be sitting in my comfy red chair), I took a wrong turn (I’d rather be sitting in my comfy red chair drinking a glass of red wine), I was scared because I had never done Tai Chi before (I’d rather be sitting in my comfy red chair, drinking red wine, and eating really yummy cheese and rustic sour dough bread), and then I thought of Winnie’s chair and how I have lots of chair time ahead of me, so I zigzagged into the class.
Middle Age thoughts on Tai Chi:
I’m young. Seriously young – have you ever been to a Tai Chi class?